Yes, that's right. Congress acts as if the United States still wields the power it did just after WWII up until this country's financial system virtually drove the world into an economic calamity.
Particularly Republicans, who like to continue to throw up the old American Exceptionalism as if it is the hallmark of every person they respect, rather than a characterization based upon the work of EVERYONE throughout the war and moving towards the 21st Century.
What Europe has done was to learn that today's America is not the same America that came to the rescue of the world. All of that good will was lost when America decided that we'd become the police of the world at the cost of becoming the defacto empire. Well, aspiring empire, as we were not prepared to take on the responsibility, nor was half the country willing to move down that path.
But time and time again, the country kept moving in that vein even though half of the country didn't believe in becoming a world power OVER other countries, but rather a world power WITH other countries, specifically to hold the unholy Russian post WWII grasp for world dominance as the Soviet Union.
And, of course, all the Republicans gave Ronald Reagan the praise for ending the Soviet threat, but to my view of history, we have Osama bin Laden and Afghanistan to thank for that. By the time the Soviet Union was rushing its troops home, they were already at the point of revolt because they weren't getting paid. The last person in the world responsible for the collapse of the Soviet Union was Ronald Reagan. Perhaps Charlie Wilson, but that still gives the US too much credit.
No, the end of the Soviet Union was simply a mistaken idea that invasion would result in an addition to the Union, not bankruptcy. As it turned out, Osama bin Laden certainly deserves more credit than Reagan.
But the Republican party has always created its heroes rather than actually having heroes to praise. It is part and parcel of the Republican plan to create a new America. The problem with it is that the creation of heroes isn't the same thing as the recognition of heroic efforts. But because they have been so successful with their efforts, a lot of Americans can no longer tell the difference.
And, as I said, it is all part of the plan. The Republicans even admit, from time to time, that this is their plan. They are using the same tactic with Paul Ryan right now by declaring him as some budgeting mastermind and we are just too stupid to see how important this young man is. Certainly VP potential to them, even though his budgeting plans don't include one bit of information about programs to be cut or to what level those cuts will come. The idea, rather, is to kill Social Security and Medicare over the next 50 years, and certainly his budget proposals have nothing as prominent as this idea.
Now I know, both from comments on my NYTimes comments and here on my blog, that I have a tendency towards Republican bashing, but I don't want to. I even joined NoLabels.com in an effort to curtail my partisan blasting of the Republican party, but that didn't last long because the assault of the Republicans simply continues to increase, often re-arguing sections of history which have already been resolved.
Of course, this is a multi-pronged assault, any particular prong being so subject intensive as to be immediately divisive and generating such arguments that grab portions of the normal news cycle without being much in the way of moving the country forward.
For they have no desire to move the country forward as it stands. They have the mission of changing the pure functioning of the country as to be totally and reliably Republican. But by doing so as the overall goal, they have used these practices of re-arguing old fights such as abortion and creating what are pretty close to old racist methods to control WHO gets to vote to disguise that overall goal.
You have to admit, the Republicans are not only very good at creating a message, but also creating such havoc on previously decided issues, such as abortion and the fight against Roe v Wade, which was decided positively for abortion rights by the US Supreme Court, as to be a distraction of what they are doing somewhere else along the political landscape.
They have successfully taken many of these previously decided issues from the national stage to the state and in doing so seemingly have found enough Republican support within those states as to negate our social advances. Remember, federal law trumps state law unless an issue is not specifically addressed by the within the federal system.
Such means, try as they may, that any state laws assuming to change the status of abortion or voting rights and the addition of penalties on a state level may be getting passed by the state, but they are unconstitutional. They aren't dumb and they recognize this, but the only means of having these laws designated as unconstitutional will require years in the court system, allowing them to keep the arguments alive and all eyes on the courts instead of the other avenues within which the Republicans are attacking.
If you look hard enough and dig deep enough you'll find some type of activity in states where Republicans hold political sway that have the taint of placing previously decided issues into the arena of the state. Some become quite banner issues, such as the totally illegal negation of bargaining powers for the Unions in Wisconsin. Such had been decided by FDR and the federal government during a worker takeover of a GM plant and FDR sent in federal troops. In the past, such an action was in support of the company, but in this case, and thereafter, the troops were deployed to protect the laborers.
So the Republicans have been gung ho on destroying the Unions since the 1930s, again, against an already decided federal issue. If they could use the National Guard to support the companies, believe me they would.
Now, after all of this I've written, they have chosen since the Bush43 administration, to attack Europe as if they are some type of adversary, which, because many of the countries have chosen a more socialistic society, have become the target of continued badgering by the Republicans.
Anyone remember Freedom Fries? How is it that the French, who lost many good patriots in WWII fighting in the resistance movement, became targets? How about Donald Rumsfeld, who, in answer to a question about our invasion plans for Iraq, totally dismissed any political fallout by Europe by calling them "Old Europe" as if Europe was senile and not worth the attention. Many of us dismissed this slight as just being the Neo-Cons within the administration.
Little did we know that the Republicans themselves were already well passed planning and had created the movement to reject the moderates in their party for the more basic blocks of the party, making the Neo-Cons their base. And the proof of the pudding is their own party running more and more conservative Republicans against the more moderate of their party. Even with incumbents of long standing, such as Arlen Specter.
So the new face of the Republican party is one of support for the people, as long as the people are conservative enough. Rick Santorum is actually the level of conservative the Republicans would have liked to run against President Obama, but he wasn't pliable enough. His positions were certainly conservative enough, but he doesn't play well with others and he was defeated. Right now Rick is stupid enough to think he is a player with a seat at the table, but after the Republican Convention he will be a minimal footnote in history, and no footnote at all in the Republican history.
The reason I bring all of this up with little mention of the Europe situation I used as the title is that, in America, it is reasonable and acceptable for a prosecutor to take an individual to court and even convict them with evidence of a history or pattern of behavior.
The Republicans have a pattern of behavior, which I believe most people actually recognize even if they have a severe case of denial. That pattern of behavior is to act in whatever manner the Republicans believe to be their best interests, but you'll never actually know what those interests are because they have become magicians.
The problem with this manner of operation is that it is static. There is no advancement for the country as a whole nor the people in specific. There is only advantage for the Republicans and whomever they so chose to support.
So sorry, I guess the only reason I used the title I picked for this article is because I recognize their attempts to yet again deflect attention to their other actions, which, in the short term may have some adverse effects on millions of people, but in the long run should be adjudicated as having been decided 30 years ago.
As a strategy their actions aren't a bad idea, but since it is all a bunch of lies, one has to consider just how much harm the Republicans are willing to cause to further their agenda, even if just for a little while.